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or exorcize

[ek-sawr-sahyz, -ser-] /ˈɛk sɔrˌsaɪz, -sər-/
verb (used with object), exorcised, exorcising.
to seek to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies:
to exorcise a demon.
to free (a person, place, etc.) of evil spirits or malignant influences.
Origin of exorcise
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin exorcizāre < Greek exorkízein, equivalent to ex- ex-3 + (h)orkízein to cause (someone) to swear an oath
Related forms
exorcisement, noun
exorciser, noun
unexorcised, adjective
Can be confused
exercise, exorcise (see synonym study at exercise) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for exorcised
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After the monsters were exorcised they took the child to Medni and he became the first raja of Nahan (Sarmor).

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • No valuable or lasting peace will come till jealousy is exorcised.

  • Until the manner of his death had been made clear, his ubiquitous presence was not to be exorcised.

    The Stillwater Tragedy Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • But although subjugated and exorcised, she at least was reminiscent.

  • So certain were they to whom I spoke that I had an evil spirit, that some would have me exorcised.

  • The phantoms were exorcised, and the house purified of fear.

    The Thing from the Lake Eleanor M. Ingram
  • They seemed measurelessly alone there at the exorcised window, alone, after the menace, as they had never been.

    The Third Window Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Word Origin and History for exorcised



c.1400, "to invoke spirits," from Old French exorciser (14c.), from Late Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein "banish an evil spirit; bind by oath" (see exorcism).

Sense of "calling up evil spirits to drive them out" became dominant 16c. A rare case where -ise trumps -ize on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps by influence of exercise. Related: Exorcised; exorcising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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